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The NextGen Energy Program

The Path to Our Sustainable Energy Future.

NextGen Brief

(Download pdf)

The NextGen Energy Program (NextGen) plays a critical role in ensuring that the University of Maryland can depend on a sustainable energy system for decades to come. NextGen not only puts us on a pathway to achieve the university’s goal of a fossil fuel-free energy system by 2035, but will also increase our efficiency and sustainability, reducing carbon emissions from our Central Energy Plant by 23% and saving 50% of the total water usage the plant requires annually. 


NextGen serves as one of the key platforms that will allow the university to meet and surpass its sustainability goals and achieve a fossil fuel-free energy system by 2035.

A carbon-neutral campus is a significant step, but now it’s time to set our sights on reducing UMD’s dependency on fossil fuels. We are committed to a fossil fuel-free power plant under the NextGen Energy Program.

UMD President Darryll J. Pines
Darryll J. Pines President, University of Maryland

The modernization and flexibility of our improved energy system allows UMD to incorporate emerging technologies. NextGen will provide: 

  • Improved operational efficiency, water recycling and decreased energy loss
  • Flexibility to incorporate low and zero-emission fuel options in the future
  • Energy conservation through enhanced building controls and monitoring systems
  • Energy resiliency enabling UMD to support the campus and surrounding community during power outages

NextGen will renew and modernize our systems to drive the University’s success and support our mission of excellent teaching, research and service. 

How NextGen Will Improve Our Energy System 

The University of Maryland’s current system is aging, inefficient and becoming less reliable. We conducted extensive research and evaluated a range of options to replace it in a way that is consistent with our core values and aspirations and best serves our community, now and for future generations.

NextGen leverages a public-private partnership to secure an innovative, effective and financially efficient approach for the University. Our partner is Maryland Energy Impact Partners (MEIP), which includes Plenary Americas US Holdings Inc., Kiewit Development Company, Kiewit Power Constructors Co, and Honeywell International, Inc., a group of experienced operators. In partnership with MEIP, NextGen will: 

  1. Update the aging distribution system to make heating and cooling campus buildings more efficient and minimize outages
  2. Implement measures to increase efficiency
  3. Make modifications to incorporate renewable energy sources and technologies
  4. Utilize existing utility budget allocations to fund the renewal and modernization of the campus energy system

MEIP will provide academic collaborations that include opportunities for undergraduates, graduates, faculty members and researchers including:

  • Student scholarships and internships
  • Groundbreaking research in collaboration with faculty and students
  • New and innovative academic programs 

Getting to NextGen: A Roadmap

  • 2018 Kick-off meeting with university stakeholders and student leaders 
  • 2019 Ongoing collaboration with university stakeholders and student leaders 
  • 2020 Approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works
  • 2021 Competitive procurement process with shortlisted proposers  
  • 2022 Two finalists selected; start of the Best and Final Offer stage of the procurement process
  • 2023-2024 Identify private sector energy company and secure partnership approval from Board of Public Works 
  • 2024 and Beyond NextGen Implementation: Existing system maintenance and improvements; new system construction and transition

As the NextGen Energy Program progresses, we are committed to working alongside the State, the university community and other stakeholders. 

For more information visit FAQ.

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